A precise measurement of the magnetic field in the corona of the black hole binary V404 Cygni

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1299-1302
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan0249

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Conditions in a black hole outburst

The binary system V404 Cygni consists of a red giant star orbiting a black hole. In 2015, a surge of accretion by the black hole caused the surrounding plasma to brighten suddenly for the first time since 1989, briefly becoming the brightest x-ray source in the sky. Dallilar et al. combined observations from radio, infrared, optical, and x-ray telescopes taken during the outburst. They compared how fast the flux decayed at each wavelength, which allowed them to constrain the size of the emitting region, determine that the plasma within it cooled through synchrotron radiation, and measure the magnetic field around the black hole.

Science, this issue p. 1299